If someone has grabbed you their focus is completely on controlling you. This can be a dangerous self-defense situation. A rear choke or headlock can force you into unconsciousness due to lack of oxygen. If one or both of your hands, wrists or arms are grabbed you can be moved or restricted from moving. In this article I will discuss how to break their focus and break their grip.
Breaking the focus of an assailant is an important aspect of controlling a fight. Boxers use feinting techniques quite often to get their opponent to focus on not getting hit instead of hitting. A shift of the head or eyes may be all it takes to get them to move a different way. A punch from the opposite hand into the way they are moving can create enough power for an instant knockout. You may have seen it in a boxing or MMA match. A fake punch with the left hand gets the other to move to the right and a right cross catches them on the chin and down they go.
The same applies to how to fight in real life. Getting the aggressive person to move one way and you move the other. The preferred action is to escape and leave the scene. But when this is not possible there are a few simple martial arts self-defense techniques to use to fight your fight. Getting them to focus on what you are doing instead of what they want to do is a huge advantage.
How To Fight Example 1 – Side Headlock
If you are placed in a side headlock typically the attacker will try to bend you over and place your head against their hip. This is a very dangerous situation and you must act quickly to avoid becoming unconscious. An all too common reaction is to try to lift them off the ground. Another is to try to pry off their arm. These may work if they are smaller or weaker than you. If they are larger or stronger you will only waste your time and energy and they will clamp down harder.
Instead of working against them work for yourself. One simple but extremely effective martial arts self-defense technique is to use your hand behind the assailant to strike the back of their knee closest to you. This strike breaks their focus temporarily and takes their mind off the headlock. Immediately after the knee strike follow up with the other hand by reaching up to their face. Dig your fingers deep into their eyes or nose and drive their head back with as much force as possible. It is important to drive their head back with maximum force all the way to the ground. The pain inflicted by your assault to their face will usually get them to release the headlock and focus on getting your hand out of their eyes or nose.
How To Fight Example 2 – Grabbed From The Front
If you are grabbed from the front by the lapel or by the arms striking the attacker is difficult as their arms can easily block the strike. Typically your first reaction is to try to push away which only makes them tighten their grasp. Flailing wildly with your arms or trying to bring them closer will only waste your energy. Again a simple martial arts self-defense technique will break their focus.
A kick to the leg may be all it takes to get them thinking about something else. The kick does not have to be full force. Just enough to get their attention. One important point is to not touch their grabbing arm or arms. This will focus their attention more on their grasp. Immediately after the kick to their leg use an elbow to drive into their forearm or elbow joint. This will most times cause them to release their grasp. If not bring the elbow back with full force to strike any part of their body that you can. After they release leave the area as quickly as you can.